Prepping For Wedding Season
Happy Spring! Well, I think so...up here in the Northeast, I think we’re confused. It SHOULD feel like spring, but it feels a little more like winter...will it ever end?! Regardless of what the weather feels like, it is spring and that means many of us photographers are gearing up for wedding season!
I love this time of year. I love deep cleaning the office, organizing my files and getting everything in order. There are many different steps that I take to insure that my gear, my cards, my computer are prepped and ready for a season of portrait sessions, weddings and editing. Each one of these steps helps me to start on the right footing and enables me to perform at my best. So, where do we begin?
1. Clean Your Office Space. The off season often means doing lots of work behind the scenes. This can mean paperwork strewn about, coffee rings on the desktop and an overflowing trashcan. Declutter, vacuum, clean, do whatever you need to organize your office and keep it clutter free. A clean and organized space will help you stay focused and driven for all the tasks ahead!
2. Organize Your Desktop. Your desktop computer that is! After a year of shooting (and shooting in the off season) your computer’s desktop is probably full with lots of folders strewn about. Cleaning and organizing this area of your computer is a necessary step to stay on top of your work. Here is how I break it down: First, I make sure that any folders on my desktop have been backed up at least in three different places. Once that has happened I know I can delete that folder off of the desktop. Second, at the top of wedding season I try to make sure that my desktop is cleared of almost all folders and projects (unless they are ongoing) so that there is lots of space for new shoots and weddings throughout the season. Third, I create several “drop” areas on the actual desktop where folders can sit while they are being processed (Personal, Current, To Archive, Special Projects etc).
3. Gear Cleaned & Checked. At the beginning of every year I will send off my gear (lenses, camera bodies and any broken equipment) off to Canon Professional Services for cleaning and equipment check. This is a GREAT service for Canon users (Nikon has a similar program). As a Platinum member I know that I can send gear off at the beginning of the week and have it sent back to me clean and ready to go by the end of the week! I love knowing that my gear is in tip top shape before the start of wedding season. As photographers who shoot a LOT, it is highly recommended that you have your gear checked once a year (or more if needed) to ensure that it is in great condition and will keep up with your season throughout the year.
4. New tools. At the end of every season I go through my gear (like bags, flashes and more) to determine what needs to be replaced and needs to be added. This year I purchased a new camera bag, a backdrop and stand, customized lens caps, shotgun mic, cards and more. Some of my fave buys this off season : back drops from DropIt Modern, lens caps from LenzBuddy, camera bag from Kelly Moore, Rode shotgun mic,
5. Test, Test, Test. This might be the most important task to accomplish on this list. You always want to test your gear after a season of shooting. Make sure all equipment is working properly. Do you need to purchase new cards that are not functioning? Does a piece of gear need to be serviced? Is your computer running it’s best? Doing all these tests NOW will help ensure that your season will run smoothly.
What are some things that you do to prepare for the start of a new wedding season? Do you have rituals or habits that you walk through before each season begins? How do you prep your office or computer? I’m always looking for suggestions and ideas, so feel free to share! I hope this list is a helpful starting point to get you prepped and ready for your wedding season! Here’s to a successful, fun and exciting year of shooting and stretching our creative muscles! (Just don’t forget to prep before you jump right in:))!